Casey Stoner moved into the MotoGP championship lead by dominating a wet British Grand Prix, as erstwhile points leader Jorge Lorenzo crashed out.
Andrea Dovizioso completed a Honda 1-2, but by far the biggest cheers were reserved for Colin Edwards, who took his first podium in two years despite having broken his collarbone just nine days ago.
Lorenzo's Yamaha had jumped from third to first at the start, as Dovizioso also went on an early charge and battled past teammate Stoner into second. The two Hondas then swept ahead Lorenzo into first and second out of Woodcote, although all three and Gresini Honda's Marco Simoncelli stayed together in a four-bike train through the heavy spray at first.
Stoner got into the lead with an assertive move around the outside of Dovizioso into the Farm kink at the start of the second lap, and would eventually start to edge away slightly as his team-mate's pace faded and Simoncelli and Lorenzo increased the pressure for second.
Simoncelli fell back to fourth when he ran off the road briefly at Abbey, allowing Lorenzo to attack Dovizioso. But on lap eight the champion had a violent high-side at Abbey, ending his race and halting an unbroken run of finishes dating back to the 2009 Australian GP. Simoncelli did not last much longer, crashing out at the same spot two laps later as he tried to get around Dovizioso.
Stoner was comfortably clear at the front by then and went on to clinch his fourth win from six grands prix and establish an 18-point lead over Lorenzo.
Dovizioso cruised to second, with Tech 3 Yamaha's Edwards elevated to an outstanding third despite his recent injury. The American had picked his way through to fifth even before Ben Spies had a heavy crash on the other works Yamaha. Spies was taken to the medical centre for checks on back pain, while Lorenzo and Simoncelli's accidents left Edwards in the top three and well ahead of the rest of the pack.
Nicky Hayden was fourth for Ducati, ahead of Alvaro Bautista, who took Suzuki's best result of a tough year in fifth.
Valentino Rossi ultimately made it through from 13th on the grid to sixth on the other works Ducati, but finishing over a minute behind Stoner would give him little joy.
Results - 20 laps:
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap
1. Casey Stoner Honda 47m53.459s
2. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 15.159s
3. Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha + 21.480s
4. Nicky Hayden Ducati + 26.984s
5. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki + 35.569s
6. Valentino Rossi Ducati + 1m04.526s
7. Karel Abraham Cardion Ducati + 1m32.650s
8. Toni Elias LCR Honda + 1m51.938s
9. Hiroshi Aoyama Gresini Honda + 1m52.350s
10. Loris Capirossi Pramac Ducati + 2m03.312s
11. Hector Barbera Aspar Ducati + 1 lap
12. Randy de Puniet Pramac Ducati + 1 lap
Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 10 laps
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 8 laps
Ben Spies Yamaha 7 laps